Throughout the summer, the Sète painter takes over the estate L’Hospitalet in Narbonne. Robert Comba’s nature is an invitation to discover the abundant universe of the master of Free Figuration. Gallery of portraits, sculptures, furniture, Combas delivers a productive work that gallops across the walls of the estate at night, revealing a more than original way of discovering his work.
Interviewing Robert Combas is a challenge, not that the artist is not suited to the rehearsal game, which has already been repeated hundreds of times. On the contrary. The answers merge, his mind flutters, the digressions fit together like Russian dolls. You need to hold on to your pen to stay on course in this stream of bouncing ideas. “What were we talking about again?” His exhibition at the Domaine de l’Hospitalet in Narbonne. “During imprisonment, I left Paris to come and live in Sète, I did not know what to do, it was difficult, I am lazy”he confides.
A hyperactive sloth that throws itself into a production that combines painting, drawing and ink and creates a gallery with 200 distinctive portraits. “I do not have that much energy, less than Gérard (ed. Note Bertrand), I am not athletic, I can do nothing but paint, I can not drive a car, I do not have a computer, fortunately it is my wife, “I take care of all that. I do not know how to do anything other than what I do, and it takes all my energy.”, he sums up. He resumed: “I paint less, I let myself be won over by laziness in the South, I am a marginal painter.”
I do not know how to do anything other than what I do and it takes all my energy
The Free Figuration movement was born in Sète in the 80s around Robert Combas and Hervé di Rosa in the wake of another Sétois Pierre François. A large uninhibited and colorful slap that shakes the artistic world of the time thrown into a conceptual and minimalist approach. “It’s an urban painting in all its splendor, colorful, rebellious, raw, violent. I calmed down a bit, but I kept this special style that fills the place like a cancer.”. Commercial success is huge for Robert Combas, who is one of the 100 best rated artists on the international stage. “There are few great contemporary painters today. The continuation of painting is not painting, it is artists like JR.”
Narbonne: Robert Comba’s nature shines in L’Hospitalet
In Narbonne, in the heart of La Clape, he reveals his true nature. “It is in relation to Gérard Bertrand and his wines, this relationship to the land is fascinating, we are all children of farmers”. “This exhibition is a bit of a challenge, there are portraits, but also a lot of sculptures, wood from my garden. In Sète, it’s another life, that’s the garden, I have calmed down a lot as I get older.”. Two great warriors thus stand in the estate’s park, a phenomenal Isis wearing vessel welcomes the audience, but also more pop and old compositions like the sex machine, “it’s a little vulgar” he breathes.
In Sète it is another life that is the garden, I have calmed down a lot when I got older.
But what really amuses him is the music. This compulsive vinyl collector no longer listens to too much music, but he loves making it with his group Les sans pattes. “It’s fun, singing, I’m not a real musician, I play guitar in a certain way. We make the music with a friend, I write the lyrics and we choose the atmosphere with the pictures to be taken in, it’s pretty psychedelic”. And it must be seen! For two evenings, Robert Combas performed with Lucas Mancione, both dressed in white, for maximum visual effect.
Seeing his painting come to life, immersing himself in it, becoming one with the twists and turns of his brush is without a doubt the saddest result for the artist. An experience that the general public can enjoy throughout the summer in a more contemplative way.
At the dawn of darkness, the walls of the Domaine de L’Hospitalet are adorned with his paintings that reveal the smallest details. “Spectacular work” entrusts the artist, amazed at the technology. And it is finally, almost him, the first surprised at all that can be seen in his work.